Swine Flu from Britons in Crete

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
filippos
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Postby filippos » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:10 pm

Also reported in Kathimerini with more/slightly different info.

http://tinyurl.com/mgfaqx

rainbowmir
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Postby rainbowmir » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:10 pm

I don't think this flu virus is any worse than any other flu virus - in fact it seems to be far less virulent and to affect people more mildly than other flu viruses. I do think a huge fuss is being made about it unnecessarily. Yes, some vulnerable people die from it, but so they do from the normal flu viruses which are around all the time.

Of course, it is what the newspapers call the "silly season" - i.e. in the summer there is usually not much real "news" about so matters which would not normally get much attention at all are blown up into something important.

Travelled back to the UK last Thursday and there was a Greek family complete with face masks - they did look a bit silly and the younger members were obviously embarrassed. I understand that face masks in fact do little to protect the wearer and that you are actually more likely to catch the virus from contact with surfaces which have been touched by an infected person. Strongest advice seems to be to carry antibacterial/antiseptic washing stuff and use it frequently.
Last edited by rainbowmir on Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

SatCure
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Postby SatCure » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:35 pm

rainbowmir wrote:Strongest advice seems to be to carry antibacterial/antiseptic washing stuff and use it frequently.

It won't kill viruses. Use antiviral stuff.

Actually, most types of anti-anything hand washes are no more effective than ordinary soap and water. The thing to do is to rinse any crap down the sink.
http://www.netwellness.org/question.cfm/11483.htm

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:43 pm

In general I agree with you, Miriam, but I just have this slight niggling doubt. I have learned over many years that politicians always lie. You cannot deduce the truth from anything they say but you can sometimes get close by observing what they do.

All the published evidence so far suggests that H1N1 is no different from "normal seasonal flue" which itself could be one or more of many different strains. It has a moderately high infection rate, generally causes quite mild symptoms and has low mortality, just like seasonal flue. So can you ever remember the government setting up a special flue helpline for any particular strain of flue? Can you ever remember them stockpiling sufficient anti-viral drugs to treat the whole population? Can you ever remember them ordering sufficient vaccinations to inoculate the whole population? I am not prone to subscribe to conspiracy theories and mostly laugh at those who do BUT if H1N1 is no different from normal seasonal flue why are the government treating it differently?

Warwick

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Postby Part time Skopi resident » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:44 pm

Hmmm, seeing as the Official advice is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, it would appear spending money on handwashes is expensive.
There are however handwashes you can ue without the need for water.
HM Gov advice page:
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Swineflu/DG_177814
Note comment about face masks.
However, France seems to be taking a different line.....
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... ldren.html

filippos
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Postby filippos » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:25 pm

Anyone remember the mayhem Bird flu was going to create? SARS?

I suspect the government is covering its a***. "People are worried. We must be seen to be doing something. Let's get lots of vaccine and the taxpayer will pick up the bill."

Where's it all coming from, anyway? Last week the head of the WHO said an effective vaccine can't be produced yet as clinical trials are a couple of months away from completion.

What's the latest "initiative"? [IMHO substitute "gimmick" for "initiative"]

The National Flu Pandemic Service for England helpline. [Obviously it's bugger the rest of the UK - or the Scots, Welsh and N. Irish are less prone to panic]. The helpline will be staffed by more than 1,500 call centre staff, with the option of recruiting 500 more. Then there's a related Internet site where you can answer a questionnaire and get a diagnosis of swine flu. "Oh, I'll go on the Internet and be diagnosed as having swine flu then take a week of work".

More bills for the taxpayer and productivity down yet further.

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:49 pm

filippos wrote:Where's it all coming from, anyway? Last week the head of the WHO said an effective vaccine can't be produced yet as clinical trials are a couple of months away from completion.


Well trials have just started in Australia, see http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousD ... eFlu/15202 My understanding was that they had all ready pre-trialled a vaccine with a slightly different strain. The full trials have the real strain BUT the trials could only take a few days because they already have the results of the pre-trials. I could be wrong.

I also understand that the reason for not launching the new service to the other countries in the UK was because they have much lower infection rates than England. This means that existing systems can cope with patient demand. It can be extended to other areas if demand increases, e.g in the autumn. I think England has more cases than the whole of the rest of Europe put together.

Warwick

filippos
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Postby filippos » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:11 pm

Kilkis wrote:I think England has more cases than the whole of the rest of Europe put together.
I'll bet most are in the south where all the wimps are. Not like you tough cloggies to turn sniffles into something terminal.

Are you a gambling man, Warwick? I'm not but I'll have a [very] small wager with you that when it's all over the stats won't be significantly different from any over the last ten years.

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:45 pm

No, I wouldn't want to bet on that because I think you are probably correct. As I said on here and previously on a thread elsewhere, I think it is just like normal seasonal flu BUT there is just this very slight niggling doubt provoked by the way the government are behaving.

Infection rate in the UK now seems to be running at around 100,000 new cases per week which is higher than normally associated with seasonal flu I think. Less than 1000 seriously ill in hospital and less than 100 in intensive care. So far 31 deaths although that figure is likely to be updated later today.

Greece reported 200 new confirmed cases last week with a total of 520 people who have actually contracted the disease in Greece so far. Given that the UK has a population only about six times more than Greece the difference in these figures seems extraordinary.

Warwick

filippos
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Postby filippos » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:06 pm

Perhaps Greeks make less fuss and just get on with life [although I know a good few hypochondriacs].

altohb
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Postby altohb » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:16 pm

filippos wrote:Perhaps Greeks make less fuss and just get on with life [although I know a good few hypochondriacs].


Or perhaps the Greek government's reaction isn't encouraging people to report minor cases! For the majority, staying at home and taking sensible measures will get rid of it, from what I understand. The UK population as a whole is geared up, these days, to panicking over things which, in the past would just be ignored or treated with common sense. The Nanny State has a lot to answer for!

SatCure
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Postby SatCure » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:27 pm

England is a small country where a lot of people get crammed together in cities. Even more so in trains and busses. The opportunity for the spread of any virus is good. I suspect that Japan is in a similar situation except that their philosophy is much like the French - lock up anyone who looks slightly ill and ask questions later.

Allegedly, the UK government bought a large number of "Tamiflu" doses in preparation for the "bird flu". These are close to their "sell by" date and need to be used (read "paid for") pretty darn soon. This goes some way towards explaining their change of tactic from limiting the spread of the disease to encouraging the spread and providing the drug.

But there are two overriding factors in all of this:

1. A population which is afraid of something, which believes the government can protect them (disease, war, terrorism etc.), is a population that can easily be controlled.

2. Business interests and consumerism. Develop an apparent need for something and 90% of the population will pay good money for it.

The question is: is this flu virus really something to be afraid of or do you feel lucky?

rainbowmir
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Postby rainbowmir » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:50 am

If people are going to be "diagnosed" over the phone - how will the government find out whether the person has H1N1 or some other strain - or just a stinking cold :? ??
Last edited by rainbowmir on Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:26 pm

That's assuming they can get through on the 'phone and/or Internet site. Both have been inundated and, at times, overwhelmed.

filippos
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Postby filippos » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:42 pm

altohb wrote:.......... is geared up, these days, to panicking over things which, in the past would just be ignored or treated with common sense.
Like the UK's recent "heatwave" which lasted for two or three days with temperatures at 30° C.

Weather forecasters advising people to stay out of the sun, government telling people to wear loose clothing, stay out of the sun, use sun creams, drink lots of water .......... Underground announcements about carrying water .........

I don't recall all that fuss during the '76 heatwave. People were much more interested in jumping into the Trafalgar Sq. fountains, gathering round journalists cooking eggs on the pavement and car bonnets or chortling about yet another picture of someone getting out of their car and sticking to the molten tarmac.

Or all the kids getting excited when the fire engine arrived in a quiet suburban street to extinguish the fire - started by an upstanding resident - that destroyed two gardens, burned off the dry grass in half the adjoining council allotment and razed a neighbour's shed.


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